Sarah Hunstead has two girls aged 4 and 5, and she’s been a paediatric emergency nurse for 13 years. She is also the owner and founder of CPR KiDS, a paediatric-specific first aid training company that started with a spark of an idea and a whole lot of passion in 2012.
Tell us about CPR kids:
In my career I have seen too many parents say that they just didn’t know how to help their child in an emergency situation. That’s why CPR KiDS was born – to empower parents and families with the lifesaving skills of baby and child CPR and first aid. It is so hard as a parent to find the time do a first aid class, and many take up the whole day. We designed our classes specifically for families with limited time and young children. We go to the parent’s home, at a time that suits them, and babies are always welcome. We also have loads of resources for the families to use afterwards, because retaining the information you learn is the hardest part! It has been an amazing journey so far – going from nursing to business owner. Lots of ups and downs, and I have learned so much.
You have recently written a book! Tell us more:
‘A Life. A Finger. A Pea Up a Nose – A practical guide to baby and child first aid’ is my first book. I realised that it is so hard to retain everything from a first aid class, and that parents need to have a resource afterwards to refresh their skills. At first it was going to be a manual, and then it turned into a book! There are lots of stories from parents and child health experts, and I cover pretty much every first aid scenario a baby or child may find themselves in, and how their carer can help.
What is the number one piece of safety knowledge every parent should know?
That is a tricky one, but I think these three are equally important:
1. CPR is the obvious one every parent needs to know. If you ever need to do it, you want to do it well.
2. Know what to do if your child is choking. When to let them cough, and when to intervene with back blows and chest thrusts.
3. Lastly, a minimum of 20 minutes of cold running tap water for burns.
What is the number on thing that gets you out of bed in the morning?
Apart from my children jumping on me, it would be knowing that what may seem insignificant to you, may have a huge impact in someone else’s life. What will you do that day, big or small, that will play a part in someone’s life? That kind word or deed, the little piece of knowledge you share, that class you teach, it may have a bigger impact than you will ever know.
How do you balance running your own business and being a mum?
At first, with difficulty! I realised at the end of last year that I was working insane hours, and my marriage was suffering. We stopped communicating. So we sat down together and talked. We were finally on the same page, and put ‘rules’ around work. I limited my working hours, and we had designated family time. This helped so much, and I found I was so much more productive in my ‘work’ time.
Tell us a little about your Body Beyond Baby experience:
I started Body Beyond Baby after my second child was born. I had never really exercised before as I disliked it so much, or so I thought. Body Beyond Baby showed me that exercise is not a chore; it is enjoyable, and absolutely addictive. I have so much more energy. I realised that we get into this perpetual cycle of making excuses; my top one was being “I’m too tired to exercise”. As soon as I did it, I realised I had more energy than ever before, and not only did I get my pre-baby body back, I was the strongest and fittest I have ever been. One of my proudest achievements was completing Tough Bloke Challenge with the Tough Mums team. I NEVER imagined I would be physically capable of doing it!
How does your physical and mental wellbeing effect what you get done in your business?
I recently fell of the wagon when it came to exercise. I became unwell, got out of my routine, and neglected my diet and exercise. My work suffered. I had a ‘cloudy’ brain, I woke up tired every morning, and I just didn’t have the energy or clarity I normally would. I realised that if I started exercising, I would be more productive again, and I was.
What advice would you give a mum who is thinking of setting up her own business?
Make sure it lights you up inside. If you have passion, go for it. Plan well, and test the market. Most importantly, network network network! Make whatever you do extraordinary, because word-of-mouth will be your biggest marketing tool, especially in the beginning.
Where do you see CPR KiDS in five years time?
In five years’ time, the CPR KiDS team will be empowering parents all over Australia and overseas. We will also be delivering new, innovative first aid training to all childcare workers across Australia, so every person who cares for a child will know what to do in an emergency.